Conservative Republican governor Mike Pence has been under attack ever since he said he will sign an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill. Now he’ll be doing it in private.
If nothing else, at least Mike Pence might be learning that there’s a cost to flaunting religious bigotry and anti-gay hate. TheÂ Indiana Republican Governor, who has never made a secret of his far-right conservative Christian views, took to Twitter on Monday to brazenly announce he was looking forward to signing SB 101, the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
SB 101 is abt respecting/reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact & I look fwd to signing it: http://t.co/gBY86B083L
â€” Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) March 23, 2015
The RFRA, which passed Monday and went to the Governor’s office, will allow anyone, including organizations and businesses, to discriminate against anyone else, likely LGBT people, merely by citing their deeply held religious beliefs.
Since then, major corporations, including Gen Con, a $50 million annual gaming convention, SaleForce.com,Â Fortune 500 member Cummins,Â Eskenazi Health, and Eli Lilly and Co., along with George Takei, Pat McAfee, Jason Collins, the mayor of Indianapolis, and the State of Indiana’s tourism board have all come out against the legislation.
Today, Governor Pence moved from gleefully supporting the legislation to having a spokesperson announce he will be signing the bill privately on Thursday. No press allowed.
Local ABC News affiliate RTV6 notes the “growing backlash from opponents who believe it will open the door to discrimination.”
Leah Jackman-Wheitner is part of a movement on social media called “Where am I allowed to eat?” Her 18-year-old daughter is gay and she organized a rally outside of the courthouse in Columbus earlier Wednesday.
“That’s where the movement came from, is saying well, let’s just boil it down — where am I allowed to eat? I don’t want to offend a small business owner who doesn’t want to serve my family. So, I’d like to know where am I going to be allowed to bring my daughter to eat dinner,” Jackman-Wheitner said.
PenceÂ Spokeswoman Kara Brooks claimed there is “no particular reason” why the Indiana governor opted for a private bill signing ceremony. “Some ]bill signings] are public; some are private,” Brooks told the IndianapolisÂ Star.Â “Donâ€™t read into it any more or less.”
Opponents of the bill expressed outrage on TwitterÂ as well:
Gov. Pence STILL says he’s going to sign #SB101, and Hoosiers are pissed!!
â€” Cara Taylor (@CaraLTaylor) March 25, 2015
I can’t believe Mike Pence is going to sign that bill tomorrow!
â€” Justyn Smith (@j_smitty16) March 25, 2015
â€” Carly Braverman (@BatmanNOS) March 25, 2015
I am ashamed and embarrassed to call this my home state. A sad sad day. http://t.co/fRMkP8NXoW
â€” Tom (@PooterTom) March 25, 2015
Gov. Pence plans to sign #SB101 in a ceremony closed to the press and public. If he believes in it so strongly, why hide?
â€” Cory Schouten (@CorySchouten) March 25, 2015
â€” craig rittenhouse (@wilderide) March 25, 2015
â€” Amy Underwood (@warsawmom) March 25, 2015
Shame on you, Mike Pence and Indiana legislators. You make it embarrassing for me, and I’m sure many others, to be from Indiana.
â€” Jordan Burger (@jburg16) March 25, 2015
@CNNPolitics embarrassed to be a Hoosier. Waiting for a biz owner refuse service 2 Pence citing THEIR religious beliefs not to serve bigots.
â€” Ron Powell (@diogeron) March 25, 2015
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Former GOP Congressman Has ‘Legitimate Concerns’ Clarence Thomas Was Involved in ‘Push to Overturn the Election’
Questions surfaced after Justice Clarence Thomas was the only member of the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose the release of Mark Meadows’ texts and information to the Jan. 6 committee. It turned out that in those text messages that the justice didn’t want revealed were communications with his wife.
Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), wrote in his new book that he thinks Justice Thomas is far more involved in his wife Ginni Thomas’ 2020 election overthrow attempts.
Riggleman, who left the committee in April, included many of the text messages that had previously been released from Ginni Thomas, along with the note that he had a difficult time trying to get the House Select Committee to sound the alarm on her actions.
“Supreme Court spouses are typically low profile. Ginni’s involvement with political groups had already led to questions about whether Clarence would need to recuse himself in cases with a political component,” wrote Riggleman. If Clarence had been in the logs, it would be a much bigger deal than all that. When I began to suspect Ginni and Clarence had texted with Meadows, I put together a technical brief outlining how we might be able to cement the identifications.”
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) called him to express concern that telling Americans that such an influential figure had gone full-Q. Cheney was worried it would turn the whole committee into a political sideshow and overshadow all of the other work the committee was doing. The release of Riggleman’s book has left the committee members furiousover possible leaks after spending a year with so few.
Riggleman persisted in pressing Cheney to tell Americans about the Thomases.
“The committee needed to show the American people that there was an organized, violent effort to reverse the election—and that there were indications it could have been directed by the White House,” he wrote. “Thanks to their prominence, Ginni and Clarence would make a lot of headlines, but those headlines might overwhelm the other important work we were doing.”
The conversation with Cheney didn’t go well, with the two “type A personalities” duking-out their arguments. Riggleman argued that data wasn’t political. It wasn’t right or wrong.
“I also thought that, given Clarence’s position and Ginni’s prominence in conservative circles, the American public had to know what she had been up to,” argued Riggleman. “Some of the messages went beyond simply cheering Meadows on. It was legitimate for me to have concerns as to whether a Supreme Court justice had been involved in the legally questionable push to overturn the election. Was it possible that one of the country’s nine top judges was on board with an authoritarian interpretation of the Constitution? The implications were overwhelming. Cheney found it all improbable. I think she still had more faith in the institutional GOP than I did at that point.”
Riggleman’s book, The Breach, is on sale now and Raw Story has complete coverage here.
‘Doesn’t Get to Tell the County What They Can Read’: Lawmaker Blasts Christian in Viral Video Attacking LGBTQ Library Books
A Tennessee Democratic state lawmaker is responding to a viral video of a Christian woman in her home state railing against “perversion,” apparently upset with LGBTQ-themed books being in a local public library, while ranting about Satan and “revelation prophecies.”
Rep. Gloria Johnson, a retired special ed teacher, blasted the young woman who spoke in the video for about three minutes berating, lecturing, and preaching to her fellow Maury County, Tennessee residents about books she believes the public library should not have.
After introducing herself as “Stephanie” (her last name was not discernible), the young woman in the undated video declares, “I speak on behalf of God Almighty, my husband, the daughter in my womb and every law abiding God fearing taxpaying citizen here in Maury County.”
She admitted she is not from Maury County, but she did feel very comfortable telling Maury County locals what to do and think.
“We moved here from Indiana to start our family,” she said. “I will not raise kids in a county that has sexual oriented books on the counter,” she insisted, later stating, “My taxes pay [for] this place.”
“The kingdom of God is within reach,” Stephanie went on to preach. “It is within here and we live not for heaven but from heaven. What that means is when perversion permeates our county, that is when the devil gets our children. If you don’t see this you are blind. We must understand that there cannot be perversion in this county, in this country. Obviously revelation prophecies are occurring right before our eyes. But what you need to know first and foremost, that obviously the future generation is our children.”
By the end of her lengthy rant she decreed, “God sees everything and by the grace of God, we will rise above this, but I’m not gonna let my children be raised – I’m gonna homeschool, you better believe it. I will not let my children be raised in a county like this. If we’re having sexual oriented books. You can even ask the gay community, a lot of them say why would you want to bring kids to the bars? They already think of pedophilia, why would you want them to come to the bars?”
“Understand that you serve our country second. You serve our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob first,” she concluded.
She also flew into a false screed straight out of recent Fox News reports.
Saying, “I speak on behalf of millennials my generation,” she claimed, “We already have so many illegal aliens here who are bringing fentanyl they are killing our children, our youth.”
A right-wing think tank, the Cato Institute states: “Fentanyl is primarily trafficked by U.S. citizens.”
Rep. Johnson, who served in the Tennessee state House from 2013-2015, and is again serving, since 2019, also served up strong criticism against the woman in the video.
“She is welcome to monitor the books her children read, but she doesn’t get to tell the rest of the county what they can read,” Johnson tweeted.
Johnson is apparently a strong supporter of public libraries. This was posted to her Facebook page just days ago:
Watch the viral video below or at this link.
A Christian woman in Maury County, Tennessee argues against LGBTQ-themed books at her library and tells everyone they’re going to hell pic.twitter.com/F6McXs8Gs4
— Marjorie Gaylor Queen 🏳️🌈 (@Tim_Tweeted) September 28, 2022
Watchdog Reports Trump ‘Credibly Accused’ of ‘Staggering’ List of 55 Criminal Offenses – Urges DOJ to Prosecute
A nonpartisan federal government watchdog has updated its list of “uncharged” criminal offenses it says Donald Trump stands “credibly accused” of committing, and is urging the Dept. of Justice to prosecute them, warning that “the rule of law is not self-enforcing.”
“As of September 2022, Donald Trump has been credibly accused of committing at least 55 criminal offenses since he launched his campaign for president in 2015,” reports Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, better known as CREW. “That total only reflects allegations relating to his time in or running for office and omits, for instance, Trump’s criminal exposure for fraudulent business dealings.”
The lengthy list includes numerous allegations of campaign finance crimes and coverup, destruction of presidential records, obstruction of the Russia and Special Counsel Investigations, attempts to steal the 2020 election, false public financial disclosure reports, attempts to get Ukraine to interfere in 2020 election, profiting off of post-election lies, and unlawful post-presidency possession of government records.
CREW says its update includes “seven offenses we have added since we published the first version of this table in March 2022,” including “three criminal offenses relating to the investigation of election fraud and related crimes in Fulton County, Georgia; one offense relating to potential wire fraud stemming from fraudulent representations made to solicit PAC contributions after the 2020 election; and three offenses relating to Trump’s unlawful possession of government records at Mar-a-Lago after leaving office.”
“The updated tracker likely understates Trump’s legal exposure because the high volume of sensitive records discovered at Mar-A-Lago suggests that he could be indicted for multiple counts of willfully retaining without authorization government records containing national defense information, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 793(e)), even though it is only listed once on CREW’s tracker.”
CREW is not the only one keeping track of Trump’s misdeeds, criminal civil, or ethical.
McSweeney’s published a list of 1056 “atrocities,” it calls “horrors,” titled: “A Catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions, and Crimes.” It stopped updating on Jan. 20, 2021.
Civil liberties and national security journalist Marcy Wheeler on Wednesday published her “Trump Document Theft Resources,” a timeline of events surrounding the former president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return classified documents, complete with numerous links.
For those who’ve missed it: I have put together a post with links to all MY posts on the Trump Espionage case, as well as the public docs, statutes, and some other key reports. Not entirely up-to-date and a work in progress, though. https://t.co/1xpy6I5ine
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) September 28, 2022
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